Nutrition and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

ilana kersch headshot

Guest post by Ilana Kersch, MS RD CDN, Senior Dietitian at the Mount Sinai Hospital.  Ilana works as part of the inpatient liver transplant team in conjunction with the Recanati Miller Transplant Institute, and provides nutrition care for patients pre- and post-hepatobiliary surgery.

In recent decades, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become an important cause of liver disease in the US due to its association with rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes.  It is estimated that approximately 30% of the US population now has some degree of non-alcoholic fatty liver, and ~2- 5% of the population have fatty liver which has progressed to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  If untreated, NAFLD and NASH can progress to liver cirrhosis and malignancy, and is quickly becoming a major indication for listing for liver transplant. Read more

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Opens New Café in Linsky Lobby

From left: Jay Aldieri, Regional Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Mount Sinai Health System; Nympha Meindel, RN, Chief Administrative Officer, Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Susan Somerville, RN, President, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, at the ribbon-cutting for Who’s on First?

From left: Jay Aldieri, Regional Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Mount Sinai Health System; Nympha Meindel, RN, Chief Administrative Officer, Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Susan Somerville, RN, President, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, at the ribbon-cutting for Who’s on First?

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s new café—Who’s on First?—opened in December with an expanded menu that for the first time includes non-kosher as well as kosher food options, a “Cuisine of the Day” station, weekly specials, a salad bar, hot food bar, and a “Grab & Go” section. Located in the Linsky Lobby of the hospital’s main entrance at 280 First Avenue—the same location as the previous cafeteria—Who’s on First? is open 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. Four hundred employees participated in a contest to name the new café. The winning entry was from Lydia E. Hosbach, Administrative Assistant, Patient Representative Department, who received a 32-inch flat-screen TV.

Hundreds Get Free Blood Pressure Check

Several hundred people received free blood pressure screenings at different locations throughout the Mount Sinai Health System in May, during National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Regular screenings are an important step in helping to control high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke, but often has no warning signs. Mount Sinai Heart hosted the screenings and distributed educational information at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, and Mount Sinai Queens.

LASIK Center Opens

The Laser Vision Correction Center at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai—the first refractive surgery center within the Mount Sinai Health System—recently celebrated its opening. Located at 230 Second Avenue, the new facility offers photorefractive keratectomy, custom LASIK, and IntraLASIK—the first blade-free laser technology that enables physicians to customize vision correction for each patient. Laser vision correction, also known as refractive surgery, treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, helping to eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses for many patients. The surgery corrects vision by changing the shape of the cornea, the transparent layer that covers the outer surface of the eye.

Are Antibiotics Necessary for the Common Cold?

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the nose and throat with associated sneezing, headaches, and cough. The rhinovirus is the most common type of virus that causes colds; however, there are more than 200 viruses that may cause the common cold. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and are used to treat bacterial infections.

One of the largest misconceptions is that the color of the mucus suggests a bacterial infection. A patient can have yellow or green mucus and still have the common cold. The most important sign that would indicate a bacterial infection is present is the duration of symptoms. The American Academy of Otolaryngology guidelines for acute sinusitis require the presence of symptoms for greater than 7 to 10 days before being considered a bacterial infection. In addition, symptoms of the common cold may last for up to two weeks with cough and post nasal drip being the last symptoms to go away. Read more

The Most Common Inherited Heart Disease: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited heart disease; it causes thickening of the heart muscle without a clinical cause to explain the extent of thickening observed.

HCM causes symptoms of dyspnea or shortness of breath, chest pain, exercise intolerance, syncope or fainting, and uncommonly, sudden cardiac death (SCD). It affects individuals of all ages but most commonly presents after age 30. Many patients with HCM have a relatively benign course and can have normal life expectancy, and symptoms can be managed with first-line pharmacologic agents like beta blockers or verapamil. However, a quarter of patients will experience in their course either severe disabling symptoms or SCD. Read more

Nutrition Trends – Separating Fact and Fiction

The nutrition world is constantly buzzing with new trends and the latest and greatest “it” diet or food–many of which aren’t backed by sound nutritional evidence. Separating the trends from the facts is a big part of my job as a registered dietitian. Here are a few thoughts on some of the latest newsmakers and trends of 2015:

Gut health.

Research continues to point to an increasingly important role the gut plays in our overall well-being. Probiotics have been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms (think bloating, constipation and diarrhea), environmental allergic reactions and may even reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. From fermented foods and drinks (kimchi or kombucha, anyone?) to our favorite yogurt standbys, keeping our intestines happy should be a priority this year. Read more

Tips for curbing a sugar habit in the New Year

If you think you eat too much sugar, you probably do, and you’re not alone in satisfying your sweet tooth. This infographic illustrates the extent to which Americans overindulge. On average, Americans consume 765 grams sugar, the equivalent of 17 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Our typical intake is 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, compared to the American Heart Association recommendation of no more than 9.5 teaspoons. Read more

Don’t Get Tricked By Too Many Treats!

Not only is Halloween candy lining drugstore aisles, but it seems to have taken residence at the workplace (those pesky candy dishes!), supermarket shelves and even the doctor’s office. The holiday of ghouls and goblins not only brings plenty of tricks and scary costumes, but it signifies the start to a holiday season filled with treats. Healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to instill can fall by the wayside as Halloween candy transitions to pecan pie, Christmas cookies and fruitcakes. The good news is that we’re here to help you navigate the holidays and help you maintain a healthy balance. First up: Halloween! Read more